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Your True Tales
July 2007
- Page 15

Doppelganger in the Woods
by Neil P.

I saw myself walking alongside myself, I believe in June or July of 1991. I was staying at a weekend farm my family has in Southeast Texas, located in the Big Thicket, a relative sliver of indigenous hardwood forest land, the remains of a vast arboreal forest that once stretched from Texas to the Atlantic Coast of the U.S. There were three other people staying with me at the farm that weekend. The farmhouse sat in a large cleared area amidst 40 acres of land in all. The rest of the acreage is heavily wooded, and the back property line bordered on millions of acres of replanted pine forest owned by one of the large paper/lumber corporations; but the property was not really isolated or secluded. A farm-to-market road ran in front of it, about 1/4 mile from the house. Three miles down the farm road was a four-lane state highway.

Around 10:00 or so that evening, I announced that I was going to walk down to close the front gate to the property, along that farm road. This was something that was normally done in the evenings, and no one paid me any mind. I walked out the back door of the house, then down along a driveway to the open pasture, toward the gate. I was following the outline of the dirt driveway across the open land in front of the house. I had a flashlight but was not using it. The farm was far enough away from "civilization" that there was very little if any ambient light, and I was trying to see how far I could get in the dark without using artificial light. On this night there was a half moon, and once my eyes adjusted I could see fairly well.

About two-thirds of the way from the house to the front gate, the cleared area ended, and the rest of the way down the driveway was through thick woods on both sides and a heavy canopy overhead. It was sort of a tunnel effect, and I knew it would be too dark for me to see anything once I got in there. So I was reaching to my back pocket for my flashlight, when I had the distinct sensation someone or something was walking nearby. I immediately thought of a wolf, a bobcat or a feral hog, all of which I had seen running around those woods at one time another, and none of which I particularly wanted to encounter in the dark. I stopped suddenly to see if I could hear a footfall. I did not. I was still about 40 feet from the woods, out in the open, so I looked around in the moonlight, but could not see an outline of anything.

I started walking again, and immediately had the same sensation of not being alone. This time, I kept walking but glanced to my right, and that is when I saw myself! It was an exact copy of me, clothes, hair, gait, everything. I stopped, and so did it. I did not feel fear, but did not turn to face the apparition full on, either, for fear of somehow losing it if I did. We stood and looked at each other (an awkward way of putting it) for several seconds, though it seemed longer. My twin never spoke (and neither did I), but somehow I got the sense it was trying to tell me, "Do not worry too much. Everything will be fine." Then I felt the strong compulsion to start walking again. I was right up to the edge of the woods by then, so I looked over to my right again. And it was gone.

I should say, at the time I had just been through the breakup of a long-term relationship and some setbacks otherwise, and was fairly depressed and had been drinking a lot lately, including that night. I am certain whatever I saw was not a drug-induced apparition, however. Either my desperate need at the time for some positive reassurance caused me to imagine this second me, or it was some other external stimulus that caused me to see myself, walking with myself, that night. I can say that at the time all my instincts were that what I saw was entirely outside myself, but somehow connected to me. And unlike many doppelganger stories I've read, I sensed no malevolence at all. I felt quite calm and somehow reassured, not only at what I think my twin was trying to convey to me, but also at the thought that there was another me out there, with another agenda entirely, but also concerned for my well-being. Something like that.

I have had my share of bad times, both before and after this incident, along with the good. I had other periods of excessive alcohol consumption, as well. However, this is the only experience I have ever had involving anything that could even remotely be considered paranormal. In addition, I have never seriously discussed this incident at any length with anyone since it occurred. I don't believe in ghosts, aliens or any of the other standard paranormal things one thinks of. But to this day I am sure I saw "something" that night.

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